Are you ready to get serious about uncluttering your surroundings? If you are, you’ve come to the right place. Hip Diggs is presenting the 10-day uncluttering challenge. This post will guide you through 10 days of getting started on the journey to owning less stuff.
First, uncluttering is not for the weak of heart. You have to be motivated, dedicated, and plain tough. It takes time, energy, and guts to get rid of your excess. After all, it’s built up over many years. That said, this challenge isn’t meant to turn you into a minimalist in 10 days. The point is simply to get you started on the journey. The key is in being quick and ruthless.
Let’s Get Started (On A Monday)
Day One: Before you get started on the physical clutter, you need to make a plan. Spend one hour writing down a list of absolute needs. Don’t include anything that is not an absolute necessity. That includes your TV and your dishwasher and your extra car. Your list of necessities should be short. Next, create a list of the things you use regularly. These two lists will be your guide for the next nine days.
Day Two: Start with what’s visible in your main living space. Spend one hour tackling the things that are cluttering your immediate space. Clear your counters, tables, and floors. If it’s not an absolute necessity or something you use regularly, pack it up to be given to charity. If an hour isn’t enough time, repeat this process regularly.
Day Three: Kill your kitchen. Go through your cupboards and drawers. Be quick and ruthless. If it’s not an absolute necessity and you haven’t used it in over a year. Pack it up. Give it away. That might include pots, pans, dishes, and dozens of useless kitchen gadgets.
Day Four: Attack the bathroom. Do the same thing you did in the kitchen. Quickly go through all your bathrooms’ storage and dump anything that you never use. If you don’t use it, you most likely don’t need it.
Day Five: Uncluttering your dressers and closets is on the menu. If you’ve made it this far, don’t stop. The more personal the stuff, the harder it is to let it go. You have to be brave and determined. Again, the key is in being quick and ruthless. Don’t deliberate. If you wear an item regularly, keep it. If you haven’t worn it in months, or years, toss it. If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll probably be able to let go of more than half of your wardrobe.
The Weekend Is Here: Time For Heavy Uncluttering
Day Six: It’s Saturday. It’s time to get rid of the big stuff. Hopefully you have a friend with a truck. Chances are high that you have too much furniture. If it doesn’t serve a purpose or if it clutters your space, load it in your friend’s truck along with everything else you’ve already boxed up. Take it to a local charity. Don’t reconsider. If it wasn’t on your needs list, give it up. Oh, you might need that truck again.
Day Seven: Go through any collections. Like your wardrobe, collections are extremely personal. Go through your DVDs, CDs, books, or whatever else you might collect. Be critical, but don’t overanalyze. You don’t have to give up the whole collection, but pare it down. I’ve gone from 1000 CDs to less than 100 CDs and from 2000 books to about 50.
Day Eight: Repeat what you did with your own room with other rooms in your house. If you have very young children, don’t worry, they won’t miss most of what you let go of on their behalf. If your children are older, you’d better include them in this challenge from the start. Don’t force them to get rid of things. In time, they’ll learn from your example. You might have to live with their clutter awhile longer.
Day Nine: Don’t forget the closets. Make sure to go through the coat closet, the linen closet, and the utility closet. The same rules apply. If you don’t need it or don’t use it, let it go.
Day Ten: If you have a basement or a garage, it’s time to tackle it. Depending on how much stuff you’re clinging to, this might not be possible to complete in a few hours. If it is possible, do it. If not, begin by taking inventory and making a list. You can always come back to this on the weekend. You might need to borrow that truck again, too.
Repeat This Challenge A Few Times Per Year
I told you that this uncluttering challenge isn’t for the weak of heart. But I’ve discovered that it’s been the best way to get rid of the excessive amount of stuff in my own life.
You might not get rid of as much as you’d like the first time you purge. I started going through my own possessions in this fashion about 10 years ago. I discovered that it works best when you repeat the process every few months. In time, you’ll discover it no longer takes 10 days to complete. Last summer, I spent a few hours and found another small load to take to charity.
Note: In order for this uncluttering system to work, you also have to change your buying habits. There’s one simple rule: Don’t buy what you don’t need.